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Outline of the entire thing

(needs fleshing out...)

Main steps as I see them:





Wearing them



This is the most important section, IMHO!
 each thier own (everyone has their own comfort-level
or goal with regard to authenticity...)
               a."Ren Faire Style"
      selection is a personal choice
               c.making a shoe you know how to make can override
more theoritical issues like authenticity
               d.personal needs may override issues of authenticity
                    (3)special needs esp. physical
          2.difficulties in determinine what is "authentic"
               a.archeological and historical record is spotty
               b.some sources working directly with primary source
material are misquoted elsewhere (ex/Lucas Types)
               c.many authors are not reproduction/construction
oriented so that many sources do not focus on what materials and
construction methods were likely to have been used; also, many
"patterns" in reference sources were made without deconstructing
the original (thank goodness) and/or may not have been made by
those with pattern-making expertise
               d.we have no one (alive) with whome to apprentice to
learn authentic technique, in most instances - technique must be
inferred from finished, often fragil or fragmentary, product
          3.Tips on how to approach the sources - ask yourself
(these questions are not to categorize a "bad" source vs. a "good"
source, but to help you glean the most relevant information from
whatever source you are looking at - almost all sources have
somthing useful to add, if only the speculation, perspective or
experience of the author):
               a.What was the author's goal in writing this?
               b.How does what the author's goal appears to be
relate to *my* goal?
               c.Is the author working with primary materials (ie.
the artifacts themselves) or are they:
                    (1)quoting someone else (possibly eroniously or
with a slight error); or
                    (2)speculating: pulling from the air; or
                    (3)something else?
               d.To what degree does the author seem interested in
or concerned with construction details, materials used and/or other
issues relevant to reconstruction?
          4.have to make choices about modern realities
               a.leather was cheaper then! shoes may have only been
intended to last for a short time
               b.we have to walk on different surfaces - esp.
concrete, etc.
               c."authentic" materials (such as linnen thread) may
not be as durable as modern materials (such as nilon thread) and/or
may be harder to get or work with
          5.given all that, here's what Molly and I think an
"authentic" pre-Christian Irish shoe is like:
                    (1)Lucas discussion of the tradition of
barefootedness and relation to context/patterns of shoe wearing
                    (2)probably more like a "leather sock" than
what we think of as a "shoe" (works with close fitting, hose-like
"trews" which would have likely ended at the ankle...)
                    (3)different types of shoes were likely to have
been used in different climates, topography, conditions and for
different circumstances
                         (a)different moccasins used by Native
American tribes used in different types of circumstances
               b.general construction details/commonalities
                    (1)great-lengths to keep shoe One Piece of
                    (2)highly ornimented and elaborate styles
                    (3)generally pointed at the toe
                    (4)probably made by skilled artesans
                    (5)wore out quickly, not easy to repair
                    (6)might have been continually adjusted as the
leather streatched
                    (7)probably padded with straw - as is still
done into modern times
                    (1)Lucas Type I (dates)
                    (2)Lucas Type II (dates)
                    (3)a later shoe for contrast: Lucas Type III
          1.what is a "shoe"?
          2.what do you want shoes for?
               a.pebbles catching inside
               c.use: dancing, etc.
               d.constraints: Faires prohibiting open shoes/sandals
          4.personal preferance/appearance choices
          1.measure foot caerfully - get a 3-D picture (see
 to translate measurements into a useful pattern
          3.making "mock-ups" - felt is a good choice
          4.take construction details into account
          5.soleing choices/decisions


     A.decide on what type of leather is appropraite as part of
pattern-making/style choices
          1.different types of leather
               b.thicker/more durable/stiffer
          2.take qualities of leather choice into account in
finalizing pattern to buy leather
 on selecting a good hide
          2.where to find good hides
          3.mail order as last resort
               a.mail order resources
      and hints
     C.transferring pattern to leather
     D.cutting out shoe

Assembly & materials needed steps
          1.crepe soleing (if any)
               a.glue on soleing
               b.punch holes once glue is dry
                    (2)singe knot at end
               d.glue on golashes/dance sole (durable but flexible
outer sole to protect crepe soling)
 up shoe
               a.start from toe
               b.stiching techniques
                    (1)cross stich
                    (2)hidden stich
                    (3)other options
               c.try on shoe as you go along to ensure fit, trim as
      up heel to fit
                    (1)protect stiches from wear (see pattern)
                    (2)be aware of potential to rub on heel
          3.finish shoe
               a.glue and sew on tabs if desired/needed
               b.punch and/or reinforce any lacing holes
               c.sand and buff edges of crepe sole for better
               d.cut thonging as needed
               e.lace up shoe
               f.adjust fit as needed


     B.cutting and/or burning patterns

Wear with pride!

    A. stuffing with "straw" or wool
    B. thoughts on walking


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© 1997 Robin A. NíDána

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